1 – Breathing
The quickest way to relax and relieve stress is through our breathing. If you breathe out for longer than you breathe in, the body’s natural relaxation mechanism activates. Think of that deep sigh as you sink into a warming bath!
Some people find it helpful to count. So, gently breathe in for a count of 5, gently exhale for a count of 9. Or in for 4 and out for 7, whatever feels natural and comfortable for you.
2 – Self-Hypnosis
Self-hypnosis is a great way of switching off the overstretched thinking brain for a while, and letting the unconscious mind do it’s mental housekeeping work.
• Find somewhere where you can sit or lie quietly for a while.
• Allow your eyes to close, and become aware of your breathing.
• As you breathe out, imagine a sensation of relaxation at the top of your head
• With each out-breath, imagine that sensation travelling down from the head, to the face, to the shoulders, to the arms and hands, and so on down the body.
• If appropriate, spend some time experiencing in your mind somewhere you can feel safe, relaxed and in control. What can you see, hear and feel there?
• Gently re-orientate yourself to the room by counting from 1 to 5.
(note: you can check out our amazing collection of self hypnosis titles)
3 – Change Position
Stress is simply a release of adrenaline into the body, which is a prompt to motion. Get up from your chair, go into another room, go and sit by the window in the sunshine for a while, even looking up at the clouds can change our moods remarkably quickly.
4 – Get Moving
Linked to the above, physical exercise is a most efficient stress buster. Put that excess adrenaline to good use by going for a walk or a run, playing sport, going to the gym etc. At the same time, you’ll release lots of your body’s natural pleasure hormones (endorphins), as well as making yourself physically fit.